Gas lines in Florida

by Russ Roberts on October 27, 2005

in Prices

From an AP story (ht: Drudge):

"This is like the Third World," said Claudia Shaw,
who spent several hours in a gas line. "We live in a state where we
suffer from these storms every year. Where is the planning?"

Alas, Claudia and millions of others haven’t learned that lines at the gas station are the result of planning, at least the centralized kind.  From an October 3 story:

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has filed the
state’s second lawsuit over price gouging from Hurricane Katrina, accusing
a Tallahassee gas station of unconscionably raising its gasoline prices 72
cents per gallon during the state of emergency.

What I really wanted to do in this post was to point out that Ms. Shaw was absolutely correct, that by fining businesses that raise prices, we were acting like a third world country.  Then I was going to link to a story on gasoline price controls in Iraq.  But I couldn’t find one.  If you google "price controls gasoline Iraq" the first page is mostly bloggers and think tanks complaining about Iraqi price controls, but not a single news story.  Google News strikes out as well.

UPDATE: Kevin Brancato of Truck and Barter sends this link on the Iraqi price controls.  It’s a story from 2003.  Here’s another one I just found from 2004.  I followed the wrong Google strategy.  Should have googled "shortages gasoline Iraq."

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